Akinsola Akinfemiwa. Chairman, Heritage Bank
Lagos, Nigeria, September 28, 2015: Against the background of the fears being expressed in the banking sector over the Treasury Single Account (TSA) , the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Heritage Bank Limited, Mr. Akinsola Akinfemiwa, OON has assured that the financial system will surmount the challenges and stabilise itself very soon.
President Muhammadu Buhari had on August 9th, 2015, ordered every Federal Government’s ministries, departments and agencies to start paying into a Treasury Single Account for all government revenues, incomes and other receipts.
The implementation of the policy by the federal and some state governments is already having rippled effects on the economy, as analysts posit that the nation’s banks would be losing about N2 trillion deposits to the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, with the implementation of the TSA.
The latest report on accounts of banks with CBN shows that as at the beginning of this quarter, banks’ total public sector deposits was N1.3 trillion but additional net flows from Federation Accounts Allocation Committee, FAAC, as at end of August (about N240 billion) as well as expected inflows by end of September may push the figure close to N2.2 trillion by the time the pull out begins next month.
Addressing senior journalists in Lagos recently, Akinfemiwa advised banks to do new thinking and break fallow ground in the area of financial services engineering and development. He maintained that the idea of the TSA was not bad on its face value, but the current apprehension arose because banks have been reluctant to unwind their public sector transactions. Akinfemiwa also enjoined the CBN to be proactive and set off machinery to reverse the current state of things. “The idea of the TSA is not bad...the banks will just have to do some critical thinking in their areas of core competence and the financial system will stabilise very soon. The CBN too will have to play a critical role to reverse the current state of things. Oil price is down, the CBN must do something to push up the system,” he said.
As for Heritage Bank, Akinfemiwa assured that the bank is set for a seamless operation that will meet the huge expectations of its customers and stakeholders. The Chairman said: “We have aligned our operations and processes. We have also rebranded all our branches and trained our staff on all aspects of our core operational services. We have equally harmonised our products, customers and data at all our Experience Centres.”
He also promised that Heritage Bank is poised to do that which has never been done in Nigerian banking – create, preserve and transfer wealth across generations. “It is also driven by a set of principles that make it the embodiment of innovation wrapped in modest elegance and knowledge, enabling it to share and lead by example the emergence of a new attitude towards financial services, the people that provide them as well as those that benefit from them,” he said.
Also speaking at the occasion, Ifie Sekibo, Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the bank, reiterated the commitment of the bank to building on “the existing quest for quintessential banking service delivery guided by passion and sustained through its brand architecture that exudes quality service, performance, respect, integrity, innovation, tenacity and excellence as core values.